A total of ten member associations of the Arts and Science Federation of Associations have come out of the election period without a full executive, with two of them not having an executive at all.
Of the 27 MAs, eight did not find enough candidates to fill all of their executive positions, while the Journalism Students Association and the Concordia Physics Students Association are set to fold for now, according to ASFA VP internal Nicole Devlin.
“There’s a requirement to have at least two signing officers to form an executive, but both MAs can always hold a by-election to find more candidates in the fall,” said Devlin.
Losing their member associations means journalism and physics students will no longer have access to ASFA’s MA or special projects funding, but rather the student-at-large fund, which is significantly lower.
“The people on the MA are people that are just generally interested in being a voice for the students and bringing them together,” said Devlin. “They fight for student space, and they hold events to have people mingle outside of class.”
The VP internal said she encouraged MAs to speak to more classrooms and to add first-year representatives to their constitutions in order to gain more executive candidates. She also noted a trend with regards to positions being filled, pointing out that many MA VP finance positions had been left vacant.
Emily White, outgoing JSA president and life editor at the Concordian, felt that journalism students will be losing a key voice in departmental affairs when the JSA disappears.
“It’s a pretty big shame. Aside from social events, students also miss having that voice present at faculty meetings,” she said. “The faculty really value our opinion.”
She also found it unfortunate that outgoing JSA VP communications Aalia Adam had told the Link in a recent article that she was interested in holding a by-election in the fall, when she was well aware of this year’s nomination deadline.
“It’s good news to me that she has that motivation, but it’s also a shame because she had the knowledge of all the dates this year,” said White. “We wouldn’t have had to fold, and lose our start-up budget, and I could have had time to train someone.”
Although CPSA only managed to find one candidate before the nomination deadline, president Glory Sikka is optimistic that more students will present themselves in the fall.
“We are a small department trying to rebuild itself so a student association is imperative at this stage,” she said. “Our focus this year was to try and close the gap between the students and faculty, by getting both parties involved in the activities.”
Although the future remains uncertain for the JSA and CPSA, ASFA is set to welcome one new MA next year, from the early childhood and elementary education program.